Turkey owes progress to Atatürk: Ecuador
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
Turkish President Gül (R) holds a joint press conference with his Ecuadoran counterpart Correa. ‘Turkey has become a model country in the Arab Spring,’ Correa says. DAILY NEWS photo, Selahattin SÖNMEZThe reforms undertaken by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk after the creation of the Turkish Republic put Turkey ahead of other regional countries and made it a model today for Arab nations grappling with unrest, Ecuador’s visiting president said yesterday. “Turkey has become a model country in the Arab Spring. If those countries had had an Atatürk and accomplished their political transformations at the time, they would not have fallen into their current situation,” Rafael Correa Delgado, the first Ecuadorian president to visit Turkey, said at a joint press conference with his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gül.
“We are watching the developments in the Middle East and North Africa with concern,” he said, stressing that the turmoil must be resolved peacefully without violating the countries’ sovereignty.
The two presidents discussed ways of boosting bilateral trade, whose volume stands at only $150 million at present. Ecuador asked for a cut in taxes of up to 45 percent imposed on Turkish imports of Ecuadorian bananas. A smiling Gül answered that the taxes did not target Ecuador, but rather aimed to generate revenue for the Turkish state.
Delgado invited the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) to take part in upcoming tenders for the development of Ecuador’s oil fields.Delgado arrived in Ankara late March 14 with a cargo of 2,000 roses from his country, which is a leading producer of the flower.